If you’re part of the many who are working from home or considering working from home, you need to be mindful of your office chair. A cheap, $10 chair you found at Goodwill can work for casual use, but when you plan on spending hours at the office, you need to consider what that is doing to your lower back and your posture.
You can find many high-end office chairs that offer lumbar support, have 40 different positions and have little trays to hold your snacks and energy drinks. It’s big business, especially for gamers and streamers. However, some of these chairs can be overpriced, to say the least. You don’t need a $500 gaming chair to give you the best in back support and comfort. You can find plenty of chairs for under $200.
Let’s look at some of the best office chairs under $200. Before we begin, let’s look at some things to consider.
Things to Consider
You don’t want an ergonomic office chair that wrecks your posture. A good office chair gives you lower back and lumbar support, which reduces back pain. Obviously, the best way to test for posture is to try it yourself. When you sit on an office chair, does it keep your back up straight?
Also, a good ergonomic office chair should allow you to change the position of the chair for best support. Most higher–end office chairs can recline or go in various directions, all while giving you the best posture.
This one is a little subjective, as we all have different comfort levels. Sit in the chair. Do you feel comfortable? Could you see yourself sitting in the chair for a long period without feeling uncomfortable? Is the seat nice on your bottom? Is there a comfortable armrest? Do you need a footrest, or does the chair come with it? Ruminate about this when searching for chairs for an office.
#3: How Long Will it Last?
A high-quality chair is built to last. Because of this, it may be smart to invest a little more. Of course, there are office chairs that are pricey, yet don’t give you much confidence. At the same time, a cheap office chair may not last too long, either.
Plus, you have to think about durability. Can this chair take some pressure? All chairs have a weight limit, but a good chair won’t automatically break if someone over the weight limit sits on it. Can the chair take some scratches from Fluffy or bites from Fido? Consider this before picking a chair.
Any office chair that you order online isn’t going to come assembled. You have to put it together yourself. Now, an office chair isn’t anything that’s overly complex, but there are some chairs that turn what should be assembly in under 30 minutes into hours. Vague instructions, assembly requiring you to buy different tools, and that feeling that you didn’t assemble it right are a few examples.
Some products allow you to look at the assembly instructions beforehand, which can give you better insight into whether or not the product is easier or more difficult to assemble.
#5: Height Adjustment
We all come in different heights. Some people are short, and then we have the basketball players who decided to take on a white collar career. The best office chair will have height adjustment that takes into account most heights. Obviously, if you’re almost 8 feet tall, you may need a specially designed chair. However, most chairs can accept people who are a little below or above average in height.
#6: Lumbar Support
When you’re looking for the best chair, one feature you may see thrown around is that the chair has lumbar support. This refers to the lower end of your back. A chair with lumbar support will match your spine’s contour. When you use a chair that has good lumbar support, it will prevent you from slumping and help to prevent back problems. As you get older, you want to make sure the chair is good for your back, so get yourself a good chair that will prevent such problems.
The best chair has armrests. As you may have inferred, these help rest your arms, but they’re also good for your shoulders and neck.
Armrests should have adjustability and the best chairs allow you to put them away when you don’t need them.
Most types of office chair will come with wheels, which you can use to move around. Should you need to go between desks, or you just want to swivel around a little bit in your seat, a chair with good maneuverability is something to consider. With that said, some cheaper units have wheels that have problems moving around, so purchase a good chair that can move around with ease.
This one is a little more optional but still worth considering. Some office chairs will come with footrests, which you can expand or retract. Combined with reclining, you can kick back and take a break after a long session of work.
With that said, footrest pads are quite cheap and you can get some good quality pads that you can buy in addition to the gaming chair. Obviously, look around and see what options you have.
Finally, the price. While this article focuses on a particular budget, this applies all across the board. A good chair is going to cost a lot more than the cheapies you find at Walmart, but at the same time, it’s possible to overspend. For instance, there are chairs for hundreds of dollars, and yet they don’t do anything at all special that a chair half its price can do. Sometimes, the cost is more because of a status symbol, and it’s not a reflection of quality. This all depends, however. On one hand, you get what you pay for. On another, you may be paying too much. This is why this article focuses on the perfect balance between quality and affordability. Now, let’s move on.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Office Chair Under $200
We looked at several factors when determining the best office chairs for desk or office use. The first is the price. Chairs must be under $200, no exceptions. Second, we looked at the features. Office chairs can have various features, from leg rests to several reclining positions. We tried to choose ergonomic office chairs that have all of the above.
Finally, the reviews. We picked products that had an overall score of 4 stars or more.
#1: Smugdesk Leather Chair (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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After doing some research, we believe that this is the first in the list of office chairs under $200 you need to consider. This chair is that perfect balance. The price is higher, but it doesn’t push the limit. It has a professional, leather look to it, but it also has that racing chair design that could be good for gaming and other activities outside the office.
This chair comes from bonded leather, giving it a comfortable and reliable feeling. Its armrests are adjustable, so you can flip them up and down. When it comes to adjusting seat height or reclining, the controls are simple. The handle is intuitive and no person should feel intimidated by it.
Another feature is its 360-degree swivel. You can rock around if you so wish, making it a fun way to pass the time. If you’re concerned about its weight support, have no worries. It can hold up to 300 pounds easily. It also has a one-year warranty.
This chair comes with easy installation instructions, too. Sometimes, you get a chair and you realize you need several tools to put it together. Not this one. Everything you need is in the box.
Reviews of this office chair have been quite positive. Most say that it’s a comfortable, affordable experience for the office. With 4.5 out of 5 stars, it’s quite highly rated.
Of course, there are always negative reviews. With office chairs, most of the criticisms center around missing parts or the chair breaking. Sometimes, it’s because the chair didn’t feel comfortable. Duds and people not being satisfied with something as subjective as comfort can happen, but the overall score indicates that it’s still a fantastic chair to check out.
#2: Office Star High Back (Best Machine)
The Best Machine category is usually reserved for a product for those who have a higher budget. Since this article is for chairs under $200, we picked one that almost breaks that budget limit. The price can depend on if you want one that supports the high back or the lower back, with the latter being cheaper.
This office chair has a high quality mesh back, which gives you lumbar support and back support. If you need to adjust the seat height, this chair makes it easy with its one-touch adjustment. There’s no having to fiddle around with a complicated handle or anything.
The arms are also adjustable in height and with using their PU Pads – which sounds like a name for a diaper, but we digress.
Reviews of this office chair have been positive. Many reviewers say it’s one of the best office chairs you can get for under $200, with plenty of lumbar support and a comfortable seat. However, there are some criticisms. Some say that this chair is hard to assemble, uncomfortable, and is not good for shorter people. Always look at the dimensions beforehand and see if the office chair will fit you.
#3: GTRACING Gaming Chair (Best Gaming Chair)
One type of office chair that’s been popular is the gaming chair. The gaming chair is meant for people who play video games, particularly PC games, for a long time. Besides offering lumbar support, these chairs have little conveniences gamers expect. It also has a certain aesthetic, looking like a colorful racing chair. If you’re working at your home office, and then afterwards you want to unwind with some Fortnite (or Halo if you’re old-school), a gaming chair is great.
Sadly, most gaming chairs are overpriced. They can go for $300 or more. That’s as much as a new console, or some PC parts. Luckily, this one goes for half of that. It’s one of the best ergonomic gaming chairs on a budget, with a padded back to keep you comfortable. Its armrests and seat height are adjustable, with up to 170 degrees recline. It has a headrest pillow you can remove as well, along with a lumbar support cushion.
Overall, it’s a great starter gamer chair. Reviews have been quite positive. Most say it’s the best ergonomic office or gaming chair for the price. It’s comfortable, versatile, and it lasts. Negative reviews center around lemons that fell apart, but duds happen with every product. Gaming can be an expensive hobby, so why does your chair need to cost a lot, too.
#4: AmazonBasics Low Back Mesh (Best Low Cost)
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If you need a quality, yet budget, product, there’s usually an AmazonBasics for that. This chair goes for a quarter of this article’s budget, and it has a simple design. However, don’t let that fool you. This chair for office use is quite nice. It has a mesh back support, keeping your lower back comfortable and cool. This chair looks smaller, but its weight capacity is nice at 250 pounds. Another feature is that it comes in a variety of colors.
Reviews of this chair are positive. Most say it’s a comfortable, ergonomic office chair for a nice price. Its mesh back kept most customers comfortable during long sessions. Some reviewers didn’t find it too comfortable, but that’s going to happen. One downside of online ordering is you can’t sit in the chair before purchase. However, you can return it.
Amazon’s own line of products has grown quite a bit in the past few years, and it’s wise for you to check out AmazonBasics whenever you can.
#5: Smugdesk with Footrest (Best Chair With Footrest)
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Just look at the photo on the page. The woman on the chair looks quite comfortable like she’s relaxing on a warm, summer day or about to get her hair washed at a luxurious hair salon. One reason she’s relaxed is the adjustable headrest, which you can move to the best possible position. Besides being a good office chair for back pain, this is a good one for your neck as well.
The footrest lets you lift your legs up and kick back, sort of like a recliner. It’s adjustable as well. As you lay back, its breathable mesh keeps you comfortable and cool.
Finally, this chair has a one-year warranty as well.
So why isn’t this #1? One reason is the reviews. Most Smugdesk chairs for a desk or office have generally positive reviews. This chair appears to have them as well. However, if you look at the reviews, they are for a couch cushion, not the chair.
We are going to give Smugdesk the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is a glitch. With that said, make sure to order at your own risk. It appears to be a quality chair for your high back.
Verdict: Your Best Office Chair Under $200
Whew! Now that we sat down and compiled five of the best ergonomic office chairs under $200, let’s summarize them for your convenience.
First, there’s the Smugdesk Leather Chair. This one is the first due to its beautiful leather appearance, easily adjustable height for the seat, and plenty of comfort for your back to go around. If you’re looking for the best office chair, this is a good place to start.
Second, we have the Office Star High Back. This chair is great for covering your entire back, and its quality mesh keeps your back comfortable and cool. It’s one of the best chairs for the office that pushes the limits of the $200 budget.
Third, there’s the GTRACING Gaming Chair. This is not only one of the best office chairs, but it’s the best gaming chair for under $200. Gaming chairs tend to be expensive, but this one is more affordable, and it has all the features, from an easily adjustable seat to different levels of height. If you’re a gamer or just someone who likes comfort, get it.
Fourth,we have AmazonBasics Low Back Mesh. This is a budget chair, offering support for your back, a comfortable seat, adjustable height, and all at a cheap price. If you’re looking for the best office chair in the $50 range, this one has you covered.
Finally, we have the Smugdesk with Footrest. This is the best office chair to pick if you’re looking for a chair with a comfortable footrest. It reclines, making it feel like a reclining chair you can lounge around on. With that said, the reviews are for something different entirely, so tread lightly on this one. We’ll update you if the reviews change.
And there you have it. These are the best office chairs on a budget. A good office chair is something to invest in, as it provides a comfortable seat, easily adjustable height, and it lasts a long time. However, you can get an office chair that’s a balance between quality and affordability. We hope this article helped you find an office chair for you. Look through all of them and see which office chair deserves to be brought home.